Frame A Builder Grade Mirror – Why You Should and What To Do With Those Clips

Framing your builder grade mirror is easy and it makes a huge impact!

Putting a frame around a builder grade mirror can really upgrade the look of your bathroom. When you frame your bathroom mirror, it makes the bathroom look more expensive and gives it a really custom look. This is a great, easy upgrade to do before you sell your home, or the perfect way to put your unique touch on the style of the bathroom. Plus, this cheap and easy update requires simple tools and little know-how – the perfect DIY for anyone!

Check out these before and after pictures of my bathroom mirror.

How To Frame A Builder Grade Mirror
A terrible “before” photo… because I forgot to take a good one.
Frame A Builder Grade Mirror before and after
And “after.”

What a difference! Making this frame only took me about 2 hours total. SO fast and easy!

So, here is what you need to frame your builder grade mirror!

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A lot of these things are items that you may have in your garage. If not, they’re easy enough to pick up, or you can add them right into your Amazon cart and have them delivered in two days.

  1. A tape measure
  2. Crown molding, or another style of wood trim that you like
  3. Sandpaper
  4. Miter saw or miter box
  5. Dremel tool
  6. Paintable caulk
  7. Painters tape
  8. Paint
  9. Poly top coat
  10. Liquid Nails

Here is how to frame your builder grade mirror!

1. Measure.

Once you have gathered all of your supplies, its time to get to work. Measure the length and width of your mirror.

2. Choose your edge style.

Decide whether you want your frame to be “rustic” looking, and have square sides, or more “finished” and have mitered sides.

different styles of mirror frames

For this tutorial, we will make mitered edges, because I was going for a finished look in my bathroom.

3. Cut.

Subtract 1 inch from the lengths and widths of your crown molding, and cut the inside corner of your molding to that length using your miter saw or miter box. Because your cutting on a diagonal (to make a mitered edge), the outside corner of the crown molding will be longer.

This is the miter box that I have. Its great and makes perfect cuts!

So, if your mirror is 30 X 40, place a mark on the inside edge of your crown molding at 29 inches. Cut the piece of a 45 degree angle with either your miter saw or a miter box. This will ensure that your edges are perfect.

Measure the piece you just cut, and cut your next length to be the exact same size as this one. You could also just cut both of them to 29 inches (or whatever is one inch less than your mirror), but I have found that cutting based on my measured and cut piece has given me more success than cutting only based on measurements.

Do the same thing for the length pieces.

Your wood frame should now look like this.

Outline of a frame for a builder grade mirror

4. Glue the corners.

I have a sneaky little glueing trick to show you here. This will help your edges line up perfectly, and will apply some pressure to the seam while it dries.

Take two of your edges and line them up straight so the long tips touch each other. Then, put a piece of painters tape on the edge.

How to Make Perfect Edges on your Builder Grade Mirror Frame

Now that you have done that, put some wood glue along the edge of the cut pieces and bend the pieces together so both of the cut edges line up. They should line up PERFECTLY! Secure the pieces with another piece of tape to apply pressure. (The paper under the edge is just to ensure wood glue didn’t get on my floor, in case you’re wondering!).

How To Glue A Mirror Frame Together

Continue to do this until all four sides are glued. Allow the glue to dry based on the manufacturer’s specifications.

How To Frame A Builder Grade Mirror

5. Measure where the clips are.

Now that you have the frame built and glued together, take it to your bathroom and put it against your mirror. Fits like a glove, right? Except for those clips!

What to do with the clips on a builder grade mirror

So place a mark on the back of your frame where the clips hit the frame. It doesn’t have to be EXACT, but pretty close. You can try to put chalk on the clip and see if that transfers on to the frame if you like, measure it with a tape measure, or just eyeball it like I did.

6. Dremel your notches.

dremel a knotch in the mirror frame

Get your Dremel and a sanding attachment.  You’ll likely need more than one.  

You can buy sanding attachments separately, or you can just order this kit that contains a bunch of different tools and sanders.  It a great value, and has a 160 attachments that you’ll use for one project or another.  

Sand a notch on the mark that you made in step 5, indicating where the clip meets the frame. This step make take some trial and error to get the notch just right, but just keep sanding until the clip fits snuggly in the notch, without pushing the frame out.

How To Frame A Builder Grade Mirror

7. If you’re going to paint, caulk your edges.

Use your paintable caulk and run it along the seams. Remove the excess with a wet finger, so that the caulk only sits in the seam. I did this in between coats of paint, but you can do it before as well.

Frame A Builder Grade Mirror

8. Paint or stain.

Your frame is ready to either be painted or stained now! I painted mine with a soft gray, and then finished it with a waterproof top coat.

9. Adhere the frame to your mirror.

Take your Liquid Nails and make a line along the edge of the mirror. Make sure that it will be covered by the frame (so only put Liquid Nails on the last inch of the mirror).

How to Stick the Frame on the Builder Grade Mirror - Liquid Nails

Now, put the frame onto the Liquid Nails. You have to hold it in place until the Liquid Nails sets. In my case, the frame sat right on top of the vanity, meaning I didn’t have to hold it THAT long. If your mirror frame is going to be suspended in air, you may need to find a faster curing adhesive, or put finish nails through the outside edges of the frame and into the wall. Luckily, your frame should be pretty light!

Let’s see that “after” picture one more time!

Frame A Builder Grade Mirror Completed Picture

I hope that this tutorial was helpful for you!

Looking for other DIY bathroom upgrade ideas? 

Check out: 

Revamp your floor with DIY Tiling Tips for Dummies, or work with the tile you have and paint the grout!

Give your vanity a farmhouse look with this DIY Farmhouse Wood Vanity Top how-to, and while you’re at it, upgrade your vanity base on a budget by refinishing your cabinets with minimal sanding or refacing the cabinet doors!

Last, consider how switching your decor can really change the look in your bathroom! Check out Ten Eye-Catching Farmhouse Bathroom Ideas!

Remember to pin this post for later!

How To Frame A Builder Grade Mirror

Related: Check out 24 Easy Bathroom Updates

Frame A Builder Grade Mirror – Why You Should and What To Do With Those Clips

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